Posted ByCorey Kagan Whelan
Find out about the hidden benefits lurking at your office.
When you accept a job offer, things like salary, vacation time and health benefits are paramount. But does your company offer any other benefits that you may not be aware of? Or benefits that aren't necessarily useful to you now, but could be further down the road? (Think things like tuition reimbursement for grad school, pet insurance and even child care.)
Here are nine "hidden" benefits that your HR department may already offer:
1) Gym Reimbursement
Your company may not have room for an on-site gym, but that doesn't mean fitness and the added stress-busting it provides should not be part of your life. In fact, the IRS even offers tax incentives to companies who provide this benefit. Many companies, such as EmblemHealth and Accenture, recognize the value of this and offer full or discounted gym reimbursement to their employees.
"These types of quality-of-life tools are important to both employees and employers today," says Chris Costello, founder and president of CBG Benefits.
2) On-Site Day Care
You may have been single or newly married when you first took your job, but now you have a baby or a couple of kids in tow. On-site day care provides peace of mind and flexibility for parents and represents a huge financial savings. If a baby is in your future, think about working for companies like S.A.S. or Chesapeake Energy that offer on-site day care.
"Companies that tailor benefits to working moms and dads ultimately benefit as much as their employees do," says Mark Gaunya, co-author of "Bend the Healthcare Trend," and principal at Borislow Insurance.
3) Backup Child Care
You may not need on-site day care, but every parent finds themselves reaching for backup child care at some point. Your company may provide backup child care as a work benefit, such as through Care.com’s Care@Work program. This program offers employees of participating companies access to child care either at home or at a nearby child care facility. If your company doesn't offer this benefit, ask Human Resources to consider it. You'll be much more productive at work if you don't have to worry about your child.
3) Pet Insurance
If you have a pet, the cost of caring for a sick animal can quickly empty a bank account, as well as create lots of stress for you. A number of companies, such as Sprint, Home Depot and the Walt Disney Company now offer pet insurance, citing peace of mind and increased productivity as a result.
4) Preventive Health Services
Between work and childcare, busy parents find it hard to schedule annual check-ups or flu shots, despite the importance of staying well for all of those who depend upon them. Employers who invest in their employee's health find themselves with less empty desks in the office, not to mention fewer employees who come to work sick. A number of companies like Hasbro and CHG Healthcare Services offer on-site flu shots, time off for doctor's appointments and even smoking cessation classes right on the job. Chesapeake Energy even has an on-site dental clinic.
5) Tuition Reimbursement
If you're struggling to pay off your own college loans, while simultaneously contributing to a college savings account for your child, at companies like UPS and Lockheed Martin, you can look forward to receiving tuition reimbursement of around $7,000 annually toward your own loans, enabling you to save even more for your children.
6) Vacation Stipends
If money is tight, it may be hard for you to plan a much-needed vacation. A well-rested employee who is enjoying life tends to be more productive and a number of companies are addressing employee burn-out by incentivizing vacation time for their workers.
Companies like Evernote offer spending money to make vacations sweeter, while others, such as FullContact, pay around $7,500 for the entire vacation itself, so families can go away together and enjoy themselves.
7) Staycation Vouchers
If a vacation is not in your future, but you love going to the movies, theater and sporting events, think about working for companies like Hunter Douglas or Burton. They shell out tickets for a variety of cultural events, like the ballet and opera, as well as free season ski passes and restaurant vouchers for their employees.
8) Concierge Services
If time is of the essence and your errands are adding up, working for a company like Clif Bar will be a lifesaver for you. Discounted concierge services for employees include car washing and detailing, haircuts, dry cleaning and laundry services. The Denver Post's free concierge service for employees includes arranging theater tickets and restaurant reservations, as well as covering some transportation costs like car services after hours.
9) Spa Services
By the end of the week, who couldn't use a relaxing massage? Shutterstock gives its employees massage Fridays to relax the body and brain, while Google offers this relaxer all week long.
Curious about other benefits? Check out these 8 Great Benefits Companies Offer to Lure Top Talent.
Corey Whelan is a freelance journalist and single mom based in Brooklyn, N.Y.